The appeal of Winter Springs lies largely with its natural beauty and high quality of life. Located in Seminole County, many young professionals and families call this city home. In 2011, Money Magazine ranked Winter Springs as one of the top 100 places to live in the United States: leading public schools, numerous parks and trails, and proximity to Orlando are just a few of the City’s amenities.

At the same time, Winter Springs is not immune to the challenges facing families elsewhere in Florida or across the nation. If you live in Winter Springs and have a family law issue, you need a trustworthy and aggressive family law attorney by your side. Orlando Family Team regularly handles a variety of domestic matters and will provide you with compassionate representation when you need it most. When you consult our husband and wife team, you will have peace of mind knowing that your family will be protected.

Winter Springs Family Law & Divorce Issues

Spouses who are headed for divorce should plan ahead to make the process as smooth as possible. Divorce will transform your family household into two new ones, and that means potentially drastic changes for you, your children, your assets, and much more.

The most common divorce issues that couples face are:

  • Property and debt division
  • Spousal support
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support

Dividing your property and debts

During your marriage, you and your spouse acquired assets, debts, and obligations. Deciding who gets what requires a process in Florida known as equitable distribution. A court has to decide which assets and debts are marital (as opposed to separate), the value of them, and which party will be distributed each.

“Equitable” means fair; it is not the same thing as “equal.” In other words, you and your spouse might not end up with an even 50/50 split of assets and debts. Instead, the court will consider several criteria to decide who gets the house, the retirement benefits, the credit card debts, and much more. Some of those criteria include the length of the marriage, the parties’ economic circumstances, and whether one party contributed to the career or educational development of the other.

Spousal support

Also known as alimony, spousal support has to be addressed during your divorce. When parties marry, they often give up their careers for the betterment of the marriage and household. When they divorce, they may find it difficult to re-enter the workforce or support themselves financially. Alimony exists where one spouse is in need of it and the other can afford to pay it. In fact, without these two elements at a minimum, a spousal support award is not appropriate.

Similar to an equitable distribution award, the court will evaluate numerous factors to determine whether, how much, and for how long spousal support will be awarded. One key element is the respective spouses’ incomes, but this alone will not decide the outcome. There are several ways in which alimony payments may be made, the most common being periodic (monthly) and lump sum.

Child custody and visitation

All parents, whether they are married or not, must have child custody and visitation decided upon their separation. Custody is perhaps the most emotional issue, since children who were once part of a single household now must split time between two.

The court’s primary concern in custody matters is the child’s best interests. With that principle in mind, the judge will establish a parenting plan that addresses physical custody, legal custody (how parents share decision-making authority), the amount of time both parents spend with the child over the holidays, and more. The judge will also address any concerns such as allegations of neglect or abuse.

Child support. The court must decide exactly how much monthly support the child needs. Although courts use child support guidelines to set this amount, the process is not as simple as plugging a number into a calculator. Several dollar figures, including the parents’ respective incomes and the costs for the child’s health insurance, are considered.

Parents cannot evade their obligations to support their children. That means they cannot quit their jobs or work less to try to get out of paying. At the same time, many parents understandably have concerns that they cannot afford to pay what the other parent is asking. Because the parents’ incomes heavily determine the amount of child support, there are often allegations of unreported jobs and earnings.

Will Mediation Work In My Winter Springs Family Law Case?

Due to the backlog of family law cases, your matter will most likely be referred to mediation. This is the process by which a neutral third party, the mediator, will work with both spouses and their attorneys to try to resolve issues arising out of their marriage. The mediator does not make any decisions, nor does he or she give legal advice to either party.

The mediator’s main task is to identify the issues involved and help the parties compromise their respective positions on each one. Mediation is confidential and informal, but both sides will get to present their views to the mediator.

In the event mediation is successful, any matters resolved will be reduced to a written settlement agreement. The mediator will draft the agreement with input from the spouses’ attorneys. Once finalized and signed by both parties, it is then presented to the judge for approval. On the other hand, if mediation is not successful, any unresolved issues will need to be decided by the judge.

Mediation not only saves time and money, but it helps relieve the stress involved with family law. Knowing that you and the other party have control over the outcome of a case will give you both the confidence you need to move forward.

Contact Our Winter Springs Family Law Attorney

No matter what type of family law issue you are facing, your case demands skilled legal representation. You can count on Orlando Family Team to walk with you each step of the way. Contact us today to discuss your case and set up a consultation.